"The Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place." 2 Chronicles 36:15.
Warnings and Counsels Given to the Battle Creek Church[* THE ARTICLES INCLUDED IN THIS CHAPTER ARE TAKEN FROM TESTIMONIES FIRST PUBLISHED IN LEAFLET FORM AND DISTRIBUTED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BATTLE CREEK CHURCH IN 1894, 1895, AND 1898.] Granville, N. S. W., July 20, 1894.
I wish to remind my brethren of the cautions and warnings that have been given me in reference to constantly investing means in Battle Creek in order to make a little more room or to make things more convenient. New fields are to be entered; the truth is to be proclaimed as a witness to all nations. The work is hindered so that the banner of truth cannot be uplifted, as it should be, in these new fields. While our brethren in America feel at liberty to invest means in buildings which time will reveal that they would do just as well and even better without, thousands of dollars are thus absorbed that the Lord called for to be used in "regions beyond." I have presented the warnings and the caution, as the word of the Lord; but my heart has been made sad to see that, notwithstanding all these, means has been swallowed up to satisfy these supposed wants; building has been added to building so the money could not be used in places where they have no conveniences, no building for the public worship. of God or to give character to the work, no place where the banner of truth could be uplifted. These things I have set before you; and yet you have gone on just the same, absorbing means, God's means, in one locality, when the Lord has spoken that too much was already invested in one place, which meant that there was nothing in other places, where there should be buildings and facilities, to make even a beginning.
What call had you to invest thousands of dollars in additional school buildings? You supposed that this outlay was needed, but did not entreaties come to you not to invest money thus?
The time of the End
I was shown that a terrible condition of things exists in our world. The angel of mercy is folding her wings, ready to depart. Already the Lord's restraining power is being with drawn from the earth, and Satan is seeking to stir up the various elements in the religious world, leading men to place themselves under the training of the great deceiver, who work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in the children of disobedience. Already the inhabitants of the earth are marshaling under the leading of the prince of darkness, and this is but the beginning of the end.
The law of God is made void. We see and hear of confusion and perplexity, want and famine, earthquakes and floods; terrible outrages will be committed by men; passion, not reason, bears sway. The wrath of God is upon the inhabitants of the world, who are fast becoming as corrupt as were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Already fire and flood are destroying thousands of lives and the property that has been selfishly accumulated by the oppression of the poor. The Lord is soon to cut short His work and put an end to sin. Oh, that the scenes which have come before me of the iniquities practiced in these last days, might make a deep impression on the minds of God's professing people. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man shall be revealed. The Lord is removing His restrictions from the earth, and soon there will be death and destruction, increasing crime, and cruel, evil working against the rich who have exalted themselves against the poor. Those who are without God's protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained and are using their inventive power to put in operation the most powerful machinery to wound and to kill.
Instead of our enlarging and erecting additional buildings in Battle Creek or other places where our institutions are already established, there should be a limiting of the wants. Let the means and the workers be scattered to represent the truth and give the warning message in "regions beyond."
Help in Time of Trouble
When the children of Israel were journeying through the wilderness, the Lord protected them from venomous serpents; but the time came when, because of Israel's transgression, impenitence, and stubbornness, the Lord removed His restraining power from these reptiles, and many of the people were bitten and died. Then it was that the brazen serpent was uplifted, that all who repented and looked to it in faith might live.
In the time of confusion and trouble before us, a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, the uplifted Saviour will be presented to the people in all lands, that all who look to Him in faith may live.
A Failure to Honor God
In view of the terrible crisis before us what are those doing who profess to believe the truth? I was called by my Guide, who said, "Follow Me," and I was shown things among our people that were not in accordance with their faith. There seemed to be a bicycle craze. Money was spent to gratify an enthusiasm in this direction that might better, far better, have been invested in building houses of worship where they are greatly needed. There were presented before me some very strange things in Battle Creek. A bewitching influence seemed to be passing as a wave over our people there, and I saw that this would be followed by other temptations. Satan works with intensity of purpose to induce our people to invest their time and money in gratifying supposed wants. This is a species of idolatry. The example will be followed, and while hundreds are starving for bread, while famine and pestilence are seen and felt, because God cannot, according to His own name's glory, protect those who are working contrary to His will, shall those who profess to love and serve God act as did the people in the days of Noah, following the imagination of their hearts?
While you have been gratifying your inclination in the appropriation of money-God's money-for which you must give an account, missionary work has been hindered and bound about for want of means and workers to plant the banner of truth in places where the people have never heard the message of warning. Will God say to those who are selfishly pleasing their own imagination and gratifying their own desires: "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"? Matthew 25:23.
My brethren and sisters in Battle Creek, what kind of witness are you bearing to an unbelieving world? I have been shown that the Lord does not look upon your course with favor, for your practice contradicts your profession. You are not doers of the words of Christ.
I was told by my Guide: "Look ye, and behold the idolatry of My people, to whom I have been speaking, rising up early, and presenting to them their dangers. I looked that they should bring forth fruit." There were some who were striving for the mastery, each trying to excel the other in the swift running of their bicycles. There was a spirit of strife and contention among them as to which should be the greatest. The spirit was similar to that manifested in the baseball games on the college ground. Said my Guide: "These things are an offense to God. Both near and afar off souls are perishing for the bread of life and the water of salvation." When Satan is defeated in one line, he will be all ready with other schemes and plans which will appear attractive and needful, and which will absorb money and thought, and encourage selfishness, so that he can overcome those who are so easily led into a false and selfish indulgence.
The question arises: What burden do these persons carry for the advancement of the work of God? Wherein do they realize the importance of the work for this time? Christ said to His disciples: "Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16. Is this investment of means and this spinning of bicycles through the streets of Battle Creek giving evidence of the genuineness of your faith in the last solemn warning to be given to human beings standing on the very verge of the eternal world?
My brethren and sisters in America, I make my appeal to you. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7. The lives of many are too delicate and dainty. They know nothing of bearing hardship as good soldiers of Christ. They are hindrances to the work of soul saving. They have many wants; everything must be convenient and easy, to suit their taste. They will not do anything themselves, and those who would do something they hinder by their suppositions and imaginary wants, and their love of idols. They think themselves Christians, but they do not know what practical Christian life signifies. What does it mean to be a Christian? It means to be Christlike.
When the Lord sees His people restricting their imaginary wants and practicing self-denial, not in a mournful, regretful spirit, as Lot's wife left Sodom, but joyfully, for Christ's sake, and because it is the right thing to do, the work will go forward with power. Let nothing, however dear, however loved, absorb your mind and affections, diverting you from the study of God's word or from earnest prayer. Watch unto prayer. Live your own requests. Co-operate with God by working in harmony with Him. Expel from the soul-temple everything that assumes the form of an idol. Now is God's time, and His time is your time. Fight the good fight of faith, refusing to think or to talk unbelief. The world is to hear the last warning message.
Our Duty to the World
Granville, N. S. W., 1894.
There should be a decided change in the spirit and character of the work in the places where men and women have received increased light. What are they doing to warn those who do not understand that the Lord is soon coming? "Behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." Isaiah 26:21. Who, I ask, is carrying a burden for the souls that are perishing out of Christ? Who will go forth without the camp, bearing the reproach? Who will leave pleasant homes and dear ties of relationship, and carry the precious light of truth to far-off lands? Every day, every moment, comes to those to whom have been entrusted the light of truth, weighted with the terrible significance that men and women in every land are preparing themselves for weal or for woe, fixing their destiny for eternity.
God has made amazing sacrifices for human beings. He has expended mighty energy to reclaim man from transgression and sin to loyalty and obedience, but I have been shown that He does nothing without the co-operation of human agencies. Every endowment of grace and power and efficiency has been liberally provided. The strongest motives have been presented to arouse and keep alive in the human heart the missionary spirit, that efforts of divine and human agencies may be combined. But what have our people done in regard to moving out of Battle Creek, to carry the light to regions where the standard has never yet been planted? Did not the Lord at the recent Conference open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing? What use have you made of the gift of God? He has supplied you with the motive force of action, that with patience and hope and untiring vigilance you might set forth Christ and Him crucified, calling men to repent of their sins, sounding the note of warning that Christ is soon to come with power and great glory.
If the members of the Battle Creek church do not arouse now and go to work in missionary fields, they will fall back into deathlike slumber. How did the Holy Spirit work upon your hearts? . . . Were you not inspired to exercise the talents God has given you, that every man and woman and youth should employ them to set forth the truth for this time, making personal efforts, going into the cities where the truth has never been proclaimed, and lifting up the standard?
Have not your energies been quickened by the blessing that God has bestowed upon you? Has not the truth been more deeply impressed upon your soul? Can you not see more clearly its relative importance to those who are perishing out of Christ? Since the manifest revealing of God's blessing, are you witnessing for Christ more distinctly and decidedly than ever before?
The Holy Spirit has brought decidedly to your minds the important, vital truths for this time. Is this knowledge to be bound up in a napkin and hidden in the earth? No, no. It is to be put out to the exchangers. As man uses his talents, however small, with faithfulness, the Holy Spirit takes the things of God, and presents them anew to the mind. Through His Spirit God makes His word a vivifying power. It is quick and powerful, exerting a strong influence upon minds, not because of the learning or intelligence of the human agent, but because divine power is working with the human power. And it is to the divine power that all praise is to be given.
Shall the selfishness and the ease of those who have earthly comforts and attractive homes allure us? Shall we cease as moral agencies to use our powers to the saving of souls? Shall our voices be indistinct? Then God will put His curse upon us who have had so great light, and inscribe upon the walls of our homes: "Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." 2 Timothy 3:4. He will put a tongue in the stones, and they will speak; but God commands of you in Battle Creek to go forth.
How to Gain Success
Resolve, not in your own strength, but in the strength and grace given of God, that you will consecrate to Him now, just now, every power, every ability. You will then follow Jesus because He bids you, and you will not ask where, or what reward will be given. It will be well with you as you obey the word: "Follow Me." Your part is to lead others to the light by judicious, faithful efforts. Under the guardianship of the divine Leader, will to do, resolve to act, without a moment's hesitation.
When you die to self, when you surrender to God, to do His work, to let the light that He has given you shine forth in good works, you will not labor alone. God's grace stands forth to co-operate with every effort to enlighten the ignorant and those who do not know that the end of all things is at hand. But God will not do your work. Light may shine in abundance, but the grace given will convert your soul only as it arouses you to co-operate with divine agencies. You are called upon to put on the Christian armor and enter the Lord's service as active soldiers. Divine power is to co-operate with human effort to break the spell of worldly enchantment that the enemy has cast upon souls.
Again I call for the help that we ought to have had, the means that we must have, if anything is accomplished in this country. Let your hearts be drawn out in love for perishing souls. Obey the impulse given by High Heaven. Grieve not the Holy Spirit by delay. Resist not God's methods of recovering souls from the thralldom of sin. To every man, according to his several ability, is given his work. Do your best, and God will accept your efforts.
Missionary Work at Home and Abroad
Granville, N. S. W., July 24, 1895.
God's field is the world. Jesus said to His disciples: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Acts 1:8; Luke 24:47. Peter said to the believers: "The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Acts 2:39.
God declares: "I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." Hosea 2:23. "And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6.
God has poured out richly of His Holy Spirit upon the believers in Battle Creek. What use have you made of these blessings? Have you done as did the men upon whom the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost? Then "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." Acts 8:4. Has this fruit been seen in Battle Creek? Have the church been taught of God to know their duty, and to reflect the light which they have received?
"When the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John." Verse 14. The Spirit of God was waiting to enlighten souls and convert them to the truth.
Notice how much effort was put forth for just one man, an Ethiopian. "The angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
"Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. . . .
"Then Philip . . . began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
"And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
"And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." Acts 8:26-40.
In the experience of Philip and the Ethiopian is presented the work to which the Lord calls His people. The Ethiopian represents a large class who need missionaries like Philip, missionaries who will hear the voice of God and go where He sends them. There are those in the world who are reading the Scriptures, but who cannot understand their import. The men and women who have a knowledge of God are needed to explain the word to these souls.
A Neglected Work
In the parable of the good Samaritan the priest and the Levite looked on the wretched man who had been robbed and wounded, but it did not seem to them desirable to help the one who, because he was helpless and forsaken, most needed help. The priest and the Levite represent many, many in Battle Creek.
Many souls can be saved if the Southern field can have but a small part of the means so lavishly expended in Battle Creek to make things more convenient.
The Lord's heritage has been strangely neglected, and God will judge His people for this thing. Pride and the love of display are gratified by the accumulated advantages, while new fields are left untouched. The rebuke of God is upon the managers for their partiality and selfish appropriation of His goods.
Something has been done in foreign missions, and something in home missions; but altogether too much territory has been left unworked. The work is too much centralized. The interests in Battle Creek are overgrown, and this means that other portions of the field are robbed of facilities which they should have had. The larger and still larger preparations, in the erection and enlargement of buildings, which have called together and held so large a number in Battle Creek, are not in accordance with God's plan, but in direct contravention of His plan.
It has been urged that there were great advantages in having so many institutions in close connection, that they would be a strength to one another and could afford help to those seeking education and employment. This is according to human reasoning; it will be admitted that, from a human point of view, many advantages are gained by crowding so many responsibilities in Battle Creek; but the vision needs to be extended.
These interests should be broken up into many parts in order that the work may start in cities which it will be necessary to make centers of interest. Buildings should be erected and responsibilities centered in many localities that are now robbed of vital, spiritual interest in order to swell the overplus already in Battle Creek. The Lord is not glorified by this management on the part of those who are in responsible positions. "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." Habakkuk 2:14; John 17:3.
The salvation of the heathen has long been deemed a matter that should engage the interest of Christians, and it is not more than justice to bring light to their dark borders. But home missionary work is just as much needed. The heathen are brought to our very doors. Idolatrous ignorance is within the very shadow of our homes. Something is being done for the colored people, but next to nothing compared with what others receive who already have a knowledge of the truth, who have had opportunities innumerable, but who have not half appreciated their advantages. To those who know not the truth, let the love of Jesus be presented, and it will work like leaven for the transformation of character.
What are we doing for the Southern field? I have looked most anxiously to see if some plan would not be set in operation to redeem the sinful neglect of that field, but I see not a proposition or a resolution to do anything. Perhaps something has been planned that I have not seen. I hope so, and praise the Lord if it is so. But though for years our duty has been laid out in a most decided manner, yet the Southern field has been touched only with the tips of our fingers. I now feel deeply in earnest in again bringing before you this neglected portion of the Lord's vineyard. This matter is brought before me again and again. I have been awakened in the night season, and the command has come: Write the things that I have opened before you, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear.
The Holy Spirit in our Schools
Cooranbong, N. S. W., May 10, 1896.
I ask you who are living at the very heart of the work to review the experience of years and see if the well "done" can be truthfully spoken of you. I ask the teachers in our schools to consider carefully, prayerfully: Have I individually watched for my own soul as one who is co-operating with God for its purification from all sin and its entire sanctification? Can you by precept and example teach the youth sanctification, through the truth, unto holiness?
Have you not been afraid of the Holy Spirit? At times this Spirit has come with all-pervading influence into the school at Battle Creek and into the schools at other places. Did you recognize His presence? Did you accord Him the honor due to a heavenly messenger? When the Spirit seemed to be striving with the youth, did you say: "Let us put aside all study, for it is evident that we have among us a heavenly guest? Let us give praise and honor to God." Did you, with contrite hearts, bow in prayer with your students, pleading that you might receive the blessing that the Lord was presenting to you?
The Great Teacher Himself was among you. Did you honor Him? Was He a stranger to some of the educators? Was there need to send for someone of supposed authority to welcome or repel this Messenger from heaven? Though unseen, His presence was among you. But was not the thought expressed that in school the time ought to be given to study, and that there was a time for everything, as if the hours devoted to common study were too precious to be given up for the working of the heavenly messenger?
If you have in any way restricted or repulsed the Holy Spirit, I entreat you to repent as quickly as possible. If any of our teachers have not opened the door of the heart to the Spirit of God, but have closed and padlocked it, I urge them to unlock the door and pray with earnestness: "Abide with me." When the Holy Spirit reveals His presence in your school room, say to your students: "The Lord signifies that He has for us today a lesson of heavenly import, of more value than our lessons in ordinary lines. Let us listen; let us bow before God and seek Him with the whole heart."
Let me tell you what I know of this heavenly Guest. The Holy Spirit was brooding over the youth during the school hours; but some hearts were so cold and dark that they had no desire for the Spirit's presence, and the light of God was withdrawn. That heavenly Visitant would have opened all understanding, would have given wisdom and knowledge in all lines of study that could be employed to the glory of God. The Lord's messenger came to convince of sin and to soften hearts hardened by long estrangement from God. He came to reveal the great love wherewith God has loved those youth. They are God's heritage, and educators need the "higher education" before they are qualified to be teachers and guides of youth.
The teacher may understand many things in regard to the physical universe; he may know all about the structure of living things, the inventions of mechanical art, the discoveries of natural science; but he cannot be called educated unless he has a knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. A principle of divine origin must pervade our conduct and bind us to God. This will not be in any way a hindrance to the study of true science. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the man who consents to be molded and fashioned after the divine similitude is the noblest specimen of the work of God. All who live in communion with our Creator will have an understanding of His design in their creation, and they will realize that God holds them accountable to employ their faculties to the very best purpose. They will seek neither to glorify nor to depreciate themselves.
The Will of God Concerning Us
The knowledge of God is obtained from His word. The experimental knowledge of true godliness, found in daily consecration and service, ensures the highest culture of body, mind, and soul. This consecration of all our powers to God prevents self-exaltation. The impartation of divine power honors our sincere striving after wisdom that will enable us to use our highest faculties in a way that will honor God and bless our fellow men. As these faculties are derived from God, and not self-created, they should be appreciated as talents from God to be employed in His service.
The heaven-entrusted faculties of the mind are to be treated as the higher powers, to rule the kingdom of the body. The natural appetites and passions are to be brought under the control of the conscience and the spiritual powers.
The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver; it never makes him coarse or rough, discourteous or self-important, passionate or hardhearted. On the contrary, it refines the taste, sanctifies the judgment, and purifies and ennobles the thoughts, bringing them into captivity to Christ. God's ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. He has given in His holy law a transcript of His character.
Christ is the greatest Teacher that the world has ever known. And what is the standard that He holds before all who believe in Him? "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in His sphere, so man may be perfect in his sphere.
The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. There is opened before us a path of constant advancement. We have an object to gain, a standard to reach, that includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be continual striving and constant progress onward and upward toward perfection of character.
Paul says: "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13, 14.
This is the will of God concerning human beings, even their sanctification. In urging our way upward, heavenward, every faculty must be kept in the most healthy condition, prepared to do faithful service. The powers with which God has endowed man are to be put to the stretch. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Luke 10:27. Man cannot possibly do this of him self; he must have divine aid. What part is the human agent to act? "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:12, 13.
Without the divine working, man could do no good thing. God calls every man to repentance, yet man cannot even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon his heart. But the Lord wants no man to wait until he thinks that he has repented before he takes steps toward Jesus. The Saviour is continually drawing men to repentance; they need only to submit to be drawn, and their hearts will be melted in penitence.
Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality; yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. No human being can be saved in indolence. The Lord bids us: "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Luke 13:24; Matthew 7:13, 14.
Working Against the Holy Spirit
I entreat the students in our schools to be sober-minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptation. In your intellectual faculties you are in possession of God's heavenly endowment, and you should not allow your thoughts to be cheap and low. A character formed in accordance with the precepts of God's word will reveal steadfast principles, pure, noble aspirations. When the Holy Spirit co-operates with the powers of the human mind, high, holy impulses are the sure result. . . .
God sees that which the blind eyes of educators cannot discern, that immorality of every kind and degree is striving for the mastery, working against the manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit. The commonest of conversation, and cheap, perverted ideas, are woven into the texture of the character.
Parties for frivolous, worldly pleasure, gatherings for eating, drinking, and singing, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation to Satan. The exhibitions in the bicycle craze are an offense to God. His wrath is kindled against those who do such things. In these gratifications the mind becomes besotted, even as in liquor drinking. The door is opened to vulgar associations. The thoughts, allowed to run in a low channel, soon pervert all the powers of the being. Like Israel of old, the pleasure lovers eat and drink, and rise up to play. There is mirth and carousing, hilarity and glee. In all this the youth follow the example of the authors of the books placed in their hands for study. The greatest evil of it all is the permanent effect that these things have upon the character.
Those who take the lead in these things bring upon the cause a stain not easily effaced. They wound their own souls, and through their lifetime will carry the scars. The evildoer may see his sins and repent; God may pardon the transgressor; but the powers of discernment, which ought ever to be kept keen and sensitive to distinguish between the sacred and the common, are in a great measure destroyed. Too often human devices and imaginations are accepted as divine. Some souls will act in blindness and insensibility, ready to grasp cheap, common, and even infidel sentiments, while they turn against the demonstrations of the Holy Spirit.
A Departure from Right
Cooranbong, N. S. W., January 12, 1898.
I am pleased that the Lord is in mercy again visiting the church. My heart trembles as I think of the many times He has come in, and His Holy Spirit has worked in the church; but after the immediate effect was over, the merciful dealings of God were forgotten. Pride, spiritual indifference, was the record made in heaven. Those who were visited by the rich mercy and grace of God dishonored their Redeemer by their unbelief. . . .
The Saviour has oft visited you in Battle Creek. Just as verily as He walked in the streets of Jerusalem, longing to breathe the breath of spiritual life into the hearts of those discouraged and ready to die, has He come to you. The cities that were so greatly blessed by His presence, His pardon, His gifts of healing, rejected Him; and just as great, yea, greater, evidence of unrequited love has been given in Battle Creek. Has Christ not loaded down His church with benefits and blessings? Has He not sent His servants with messages of pardon and righteousness, to be freely given to all who will receive them?
Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Everyone sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," how can I give thee up? "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matthew 23:37.
So Christ sorrows and weeps over our churches, over our institutions of learning, that have failed to meet the demand of God. He comes to investigate in Battle Creek, which has been moving in the same track as Jerusalem. The publishing house has been turned into desecrated shrines, into a place of unholy merchandise and traffic. It has become a place where injustice and fraud have been carried on, where selfishness, malice, envy, and passion have borne sway. Yet the men who have been led into this working upon wrong principles are seemingly unconscious of their wrong course of action. When warnings and entreaties come to them, they say: "Doth she not speak in parables?" Words of warning and reproof have been treated as idle tales.
When Christ looked down from the crest of Olivet, He saw this state of things existing in every church. The warnings come down to all that are following in the tread of the people of Jerusalem, who had such great light. This people is before us as a warning. By rejecting God's warnings in this our day, men are repeating the sin of Jerusalem. The Lord sees what the human agent does not see and will not see--the outcome of all the human devising in Battle Creek. He has done all that a God could do. He has flashed light before the eyes of the people, that their sins might not reach the boundary where repentance cannot be felt. But by a long process of departure from just and righteous principles, men have placed themselves where light and truth, justice and mercy, are not discerned. This course has become part of their very nature.
I call upon all who have united in a course of action that is wrong in principle, to make a decided reformation and forever after walk humbly with God. . . .
These are no idle tales, but truth. Again I ask: On which side are you standing? "If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him." 1 Kings 18:21.
Look to God for Help
Cooranbong, N. S. W., June 8, 1898.
There are times when the truth must be spoken, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. The Lord is greatly dishonored when those who profess to believe the truth fail to harmonize among themselves, and make appeals to lawyers. Will you study the word of God and heed the instruction given on this point? The interests of the cause of God are not to be committed to men who have no connection with heaven.
Matters have been presented before me that have filled my soul with keen anguish. I saw men linking up arm in arm with lawyers, but God was not in their company. Having many ideas regarding the work, they go to the lawyers for help to carry out their plans. I am commissioned to say to such that they are not moving under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.
"Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron?" 2 Kings 1:3. Men in responsible positions are uniting with those in the church and out of the church, whose counsel is misleading. Is it necessary for the Lord to come to you with a rod to show you that you need a higher experience before you can be fitted for connection with the family above? Will you link up with men who have a faculty for accusing, for thinking and speaking evil of the things that God approves? In the name of the Lord I tell you that you need clearer discernment and clearer spiritual eyesight.
If the light which God has given you over and over again, that missionary centers should be established in many cities, and that the labor and the means centered in Battle Creek should be divided and planted in many places, had been followed, the present state of confusion and the dearth of means would never have been.
Men located in Battle Creek have disregarded the counsels of the Lord because it was more convenient for them to have the work centered there. God has left these to the results of their human wisdom, and its fruit is seen in the present perplexities.
"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow." Isaiah 50:10, 11.
"Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good. And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will everyone do the imagination of his evil heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing. Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up." Jeremiah 18:11-15.
Medical Missionary Work
Again and again the Lord has pointed out the work which the church in Battle Creek and those all through America are to do. They are to reach a much higher standard in spiritual advancement than they have yet reached. They are to awake out of sleep and go without the camp, working for souls that are ready to perish.
The medical missionary workers are doing the long-neglected work which God gave to the church in Battle Creek --they are giving the last call to the supper which He has prepared.
My brethren, why do you keep so many things bound up in Battle Creek? Why do you not take the tract and missionary work into other cities, where there is much missionary work to be done?
The many interests centering in Battle Creek should be divided and subdivided, and placed in other cities. You who think you are wise men may say: "It will cost too much. We can do the work here in Battle Creek at less expense." Well, does not the Lord know all this? Is not He a God who understands all the unbelieving reasoning that holds so many interests in Battle Creek? He has revealed to you that centers should be made in all the cities. This would call many out of Battle Creek to work in other places.
In order to be carried forward aright, the medical missionary work needs talent. It requires strong, willing hands, and wise, discriminating management. But can this be while those in responsible places--presidents of conferences and ministers --bar the way?
The Lord says to the presidents of conferences and to other influential brethren: "Remove the stumbling blocks that have been placed before the people."
Our people in Battle Creek have not exercised their talents in planning and devising how to plant the standard of truth in regions where the message has not been proclaimed and where decided efforts should be made; and the Lord has moved upon Dr. Kellogg and his associates to do the work which belongs to the church and which was offered to them, but which they did not choose to accept. Some in Battle Creek, instead of taking up the work given them of God, have, by following their own selfish way, blinded their spiritual eyesight and the spiritual eyesight of others; and God has placed His precious work in the hands of those who will take it up and carry it forward.
God is in His holy place, and He dwells also with him who is of a humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Those who are doing medical missionary work should have the full sanction and co-operation of the church. If they do not have this they are hindered. Nevertheless, they will advance. It is not in God's plan that there shall be two churches in Battle Creek because of the want of co-operation. How much better it is to seek for unity of action. If the medical missionary workers will carry this line of effort into the churches everywhere, if they will work in the fear of God, they will find many doors opened before them, and angels will work with them.
Please read the invitation to the supper, and the last call to be made. Study what is being done to meet the command of Jesus. I cannot understand why such indifference is manifested, why you should stand afar off and criticize and draw away. The gospel net is to be cast into the sea, and it draws both good and bad. But because this is so, shall men and women ignore the efforts made to save those who will believe and who will unite in reaching that class of whom Christ spoke in His rebuke to the Pharisees? Sinners and harlots, He said, "go into the kingdom of God before you." Will you not see that even in the church there are those who have no connection with God? But Christ says: Let the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn."
When the Lord moves upon the churches, bidding them do a certain work, and they refuse to do that work; and when some, their human efforts united with the divine, endeavor to reach to the very depths of human woe and misery, God's blessing will rest richly upon them. Even though but few accept the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, their work will not be in vain; for one soul is precious, very precious, in the sight of God. Christ would have died for one soul in order that that one might live through the eternal ages.
Let us study the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. This chapter should enlighten our eyes. "Take heed," Christ says: "that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." Matthew 18:10-14.
Many souls are being rescued, wrenched from Satan's hand, by faithful workers. Someone must have a burden of soul to find those who have been lost to Christ. The rescue of one soul over whom Satan has triumphed causes joy among the heavenly angels. There are those who have destroyed in themselves the moral image of God. The gospel net must gather in these poor outcasts. Angels of God will co-operate with those who are engaged in this work, who make every effort to save perishing souls, to give them opportunities which many have never had. There is no other way of reaching them but in Christ's way. He ever worked to relieve suffering and teach righteousness. Only thus can sinners be raised from the depths of degradation.
The workers must labor in love, feeding, cleansing, and clothing those who need their help. In this way these outcasts are prepared to know that someone cares for their souls. The Lord has shown me that many of these poor outcasts from society will, through the ministration of human agencies, co-operate with divine power and seek to restore the moral image of God in others for whom Christ has paid the price of His own blood. They will be called the elect of God, precious, and will stand next to the throne of God.
A Word of Caution
"Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:30, 31, 42-51.
Brethren, be careful, very careful. There is a work being done by the medical missionaries which answers to the description given in verses 48-51. The Lord is working to reach the most depraved. Many will know what it means to be drawn to Christ, but will not have moral courage to war against appetite and passion. But the workers must not be discouraged at this; for it is written: "In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 1 Timothy 4:1. Is it only those rescued from the lowest depths that backslide? There are those in the ministry who have had light and a knowledge of the truth, who will not be overcomers. They do not restrict their appetites and passions or deny themselves for Christ's sake. Many poor outcasts, even publicans and sinners, will grasp the hope set before them in the gospel and will go into the kingdom of heaven before the ones who have had great opportunities and great light, but who have walked in darkness. In the last great day many will say: "Lord, Lord, open unto us." But the door will be shut, and their knock will be in vain.
We should feel deeply over these things, for they are true. We should have a high estimate of truth and of the value of souls. Time is short, and there is a great work to be done. If you feel no interest in the work that is going forward, if you will not encourage medical missionary work in the churches, it will be done without your consent; for it is the work of God, and it must be done. My brethren and sisters, take your position on the Lord's side and be earnest, active, courageous co-workers with Christ, laboring with Him to seek and save the lost.
An Appeal to the Brethren in Battle Creek
Cooranbong, N. S. W., 1898.
Why is it, brethren, that you continue to keep so many interests bound up in Battle Creek? Why do you not listen to the counsels and the warnings that have been given you regarding this matter? Why do you not take decisive steps to establish centers of influence in many of the large cities? Why do you not encourage the Michigan Tract Society and the International Tract Society to establish their offices in cities where there is much missionary work to do, and where their secretaries and other workers may engage personally in missionary work, acting as leaders in important enterprises? Move out, brethren, move out, and educate your workers to labor for those outside the camp. Why do you hide your light by continuing to remain in Battle Creek? Go out, brethren, go out into the regions beyond.
There is much work to be done, and our experienced workers should strive to place themselves where they will come in direct contact with those needing help. They can do comparatively little in Battle Creek. Is it right, brethren, for you to keep your light hid under a bushel or under a bed? Is it not better that you do that which the Lord has plainly indicated you should do? Resolve now that you will give up your preference, your way, and that you will obey His voice. Seek the Lord most earnestly, with humble, fervent prayer for wisdom and for success in this endeavor. Then take the light from under the bushel, away from the place that seems most favorable for your financial interests, and from under the bed, away from the place most convenient for your comfort, and put it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house.
A crisis in missionary effort is upon us. There is a great work to be done, and if this work is earnestly done in Battle Creek, if it is faithfully done throughout the churches in Michigan, if it is vigorously prosecuted in all our older churches and strongholds of influence, we may hope that its influence will leaven the churches throughout all the conferences, many of whom are now standing as if paralyzed.
The institutions which God has established as centers of influence for the dissemination of light are not blending their interests and working together as God would have them. The managers of these institutions should know that their very first work is to harmonize with their fellow workers. Our ministers must awake to understand the situation. The gospel is the sanctifying influence in our world. Its influence upon hearts will bring harmony. The standard of truth is to be uplifted and the atonement of Christ presented as the grand, central theme for consideration.
The medical missionary work is to be to the work of the church as the right arm to the body. The third angel goes forth proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The medical missionary work is the gospel in practice. All lines of work are to be harmoniously blended in giving the invitation: "Come; for all things are now ready."
To those in Battle Creek has been given the message that many should move into places where they may engage in this very work in connection with their temporal business. Had they moved out by faith, willing to endure wearing labor and privation for the work's sake, they would have obtained a rich experience in the things of God. But they thought that they would find things a little more convenient in Battle Creek, that the work there would be less taxing than elsewhere, and therefore they remained. Many who crowd into Battle Creek get no good there because they do not make use of the knowledge they receive. They do no good in Battle Creek, but are swelling the number who need conversion. They have not the spirit of sacrifice. They have much of self and a little of Christ, a little faith and a few good works. They think that they have religion, but it all amounts to nothing.
God speaks to you in His word, saying: "Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
"In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 29:13, 14, 18, 19.
My brethren, the Lord has called upon you to do a certain work, but you have not done it; and in the place where you are there is discord and contention and strife. But this need not be. God does not design that His workmen shall stand apart as separate atoms. All have a great and solemn work to do, and it is to be done under God's supervision.
God will do great things for His people if they will co-operate with Him. He will work upon the minds of men, so that there will be seen in their lives, even in this world, a fulfillment of the promise of the future state:
"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing;
The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
The excellency of Carmel and Sharon:
They shall see the glory of Jehovah,
The excellency of our God.
Strengthen ye the weak hands,
And confirm the feeble knees.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not:
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as a hart,
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing;
For in the wilderness shall waters break out,
And streams in the desert.
And the glowing sand shall become a pool,
And the thirsty ground springs of water:
In the habitation of jackals, where they lay,
Shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall be there, and a way,
And it shall be called The way of holiness;
The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for the redeemed:
The wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon;
They shall not be found there;
But the redeemed shall walk there:
And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return,
And come with singing unto Zion;
And everlasting joy shall be upon their heads:
They shall obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Isaiah 35, A. R. V.
The wilderness itself has neither glory nor excellence, and to the Lord is to be ascribed all the honor for the transformation wrought. This great work is of God. Therefore magnify not the men who are under the special working of His power. Glorify God, and He will continue to work.
The Lord has a special work for His people to do at this time. He says: "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees." This is the very work that the apostle Paul charges the churches to do. "Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees," he says, "and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Hebrews 12:12-15.
I pray that now as never before both ministers and church members may come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Study prayerfully the seventeenth chapter of John. This chapter is not only to be read again and again; its truths are to be eaten and assimilated. "For their sakes," Christ prayed: "I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me." John 17:19-23.
Are these words, of such wonderful import to us, to be always neglected? God calls upon those who profess to be His children to study these words, to eat them, to live them. He calls upon them to seek for unity and love, else the candlestick will be moved out of its place.
A Neglected Warning
St. Helena, California, November, 1901.
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey." Deuteronomy 11:26-28.
"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord's wrath be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you." Verses 13-17.
"Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth." Verses 18-21.
If Seventh-day Adventists had walked in the way of the Lord, refusing to allow selfish interests to control them, the Lord would greatly have blessed them. Those who have remained in Battle Creek contrary to the will of the Lord have lost the valuable experience and the spiritual knowledge they might have gained through obedience. Many of them have forfeited the favor of God. The heart of the work has become congested. For a long time the warning has been given, but it has not been heeded. The reason for this disobedience is that the hearts and minds of many in Battle Creek are not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They do not realize how much work there is to do. They are asleep.
When Seventh-day Adventists move into cities where there is already a large church of believers, they are out of place, and their spirituality becomes weaker and weaker. Their children are exposed to many temptations. My brother, my sister, unless you are absolutely needed in carrying forward the work in such a place, it would be wise for you to go to some place where the truth has not yet been proclaimed, and there strive to give proof of your ability to work for the Master. Make earnest efforts to arouse an interest in present truth. House-to-house work is effectual when conducted in a Christlike manner. Hold meetings, and be sure to make them interesting. Remember that this requires something more than preaching.
Many who have lived so long in one place are spending their time criticizing those who are working in Christ's lines to convict and convert sinners. They criticize the motives and intentions of others, as if it were not possible for anyone else to do the unselfish work they themselves refuse to do. They are stumbling blocks. If they would go to places where there are no believers, and work to win souls to Christ, they would soon be so busy proclaiming the truth and helping the suffering that they would have no time to dissect character, no time to surmise evil and then report the results of their supposed keenness in seeing beneath the surface.
Let those who have lived so long in places where there are large churches of believers go out into the harvest field to sow and reap for the Master. They will forget self in the desire to save souls. They will see so much work to do, so many fellow beings to help, that they will have no time to look for faults in others. They will have no time to work on the negative side.
Bringing so many believers together in one place tends to encourage evil surmising and evilspeaking. Many become absorbed in looking and listening for evil. They forget what a great sin they are committing. They forget that the words they speak can never be unsaid and that by their suspicions they are sowing seeds that will spring up to bear a harvest of evil. How great this harvest is no one will know until the last great day, when every thought, word, and action will be brought into judgment.
The thoughtless, unkind words that are spoken grow with every repetition. One and another adds a word, until the false report assumes large proportions. Great injustice is done. By their unrighteous suspicions and unrighteous judgments the talebearers hurt their own experience and sow the seeds of discord in the church. If they could see things as God sees them they would change their attitude. They would realize how they have neglected the work He has given them to do as they have found fault with their brethren and sisters.
The time spent in criticizing the motives and works of Christ's servants might better be spent in prayer. Often if those who find fault knew the truth in regard to those with whom they find fault, they would have an altogether different opinion of them. How much better it would be if, instead of criticizing and condemning others, everyone would say: "I must work out my own salvation. If I co-operate with Him who desires to save my soul, I must watch myself diligently. I must cut away every evil from my life. I must become a new creature in Christ. I must overcome every fault. Then, instead of weakening those who are striving against evil, I can strengthen them by encouraging words."
Let those who have used the talent of speech to discourage and dishearten God's servants, who are striving to advance God's cause, planning and working to master hindrance, ask God to forgive them for the injury they have done to His work by their wicked prejudices and unkind words. Let them think of the harm they have done by spreading false reports, by judging those they have no right to judge.
In the word of God we are given plain directions as to the course we are to follow when we think a brother is in the wrong. Christ says: "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." And again the Saviour says: "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matthew 18:15-17; 5:23, 24.
"Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." Psalm 15.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5.
Much is involved in the matter of judging. Remember that soon your life record will pass in review before God. Remember, too, that He has said: "Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?" Romans 2:1-3.
Those who came to Battle Creek when they had a work to do in the church that they left, lost their missionary spirit and their spiritual discernment in coming to Battle Creek. There they came in contact with a pharisaism, a self-righteousness, that is always a snare. It is the form of godliness without the power thereof.
When the power of the truth is felt in the heart, when the principles of truth are brought into the daily life, there will be a great movement of reform in the Battle Creek church. Soon will be fulfilled the words: "I will turn and overturn." We know not now just when this will be accomplished, but the time will come when there will be a scattering from Battle Creek. Those who moved to Battle Creek without any call from the Lord will move away.
Earnest workers have no time to dwell upon the defects of others. They behold the Saviour, and by beholding become changed into His likeness. He is the One whose example we are to follow in our character building. In His life upon the earth He plainly revealed the divine nature. We should strive to be perfect in our sphere, as He was perfect in His sphere. No longer are the members of the church to remain unconcerned in regard to the formation of right characters. Placing themselves under the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they are to form characters that are a reflection of the divine character.
The Result of Reformation
St. Helena, California, September 26, 1901.
Dear Brother Daniells: Yesterday morning I read your letter, in which you express your ardent desire to see a strong corps of workers sent to India and China and other Oriental countries. Last night instruction was given me that at present our principal efforts are not to be made especially for China or other fields similar to China. We first have a work to do at home. All our institutions--our sanitariums, publishing houses, and schools--are to reach a higher standard. Then the workers sent to foreign fields will reach a higher standard. They will be more earnest, more spiritual, and their labors will be more effective.
Years ago the Lord gave me special directions that buildings should be erected in various places in America, Europe, and other lands for the publication of literature containing the light of present truth. He gave instruction that every effort should be made to send forth to the world from the press the messages of invitation and warning. Some will be reached by our literature who would not be reached in any other way. From our books and papers bright beams of light are to shine forth to enlighten the world in regard to present truth.
Workers who are not benefited by the advantages they receive in connection with the cause of God should not be brought into our offices of publication. Neither should matter of an objectionable character be introduced into these institutions, for by so doing the sacred truth of God is placed on a level with common matters. And when outside work is brought in, a correspondingly large number of workers must be employed. This brings care and perplexity.
I have been shown that mistakes are being made in our publishing houses. There is a constant increase of expensive machinery for the doing of commercial work. A large amount of work has been brought in that has no relation to the work which in faith and love is to be accomplished for the salvation of human beings. Time and talent have been used in doing a class of work that has brought no glory to God. Much effort has been put forth in lines that do nothing to spread a knowledge of the truth.
It is high time that consideration be given to this matter. This mistake must be corrected. It is not wisdom to use money to establish enterprises that consume without producing. It is said that more room is needed in the publishing houses. But there is ample room in them, and when the right thing is done, it will be seen that there is sufficient room.
Far less commercial work should be received into our offices of publication, and not a line of matter containing Satan's sentiments should be received. The introduction of such matter destroys all sense of the sacredness of the institution. The whole institution is cheapened. There is always danger, when the common is mingled with the sacred, that the common will be allowed to take the place of the sacred.
How does the Lord regard the using of the presses in His institutions to print the errors of the enemy? When objectionable matter is mingled with sacred matter coming from the presses, His blessing cannot rest upon the work done. Said the divine Teacher: "What have you gained by bringing in this outside work? It has brought you much vexation of spirit; and the workers have had to hurry and rush to get the matter finished in the specified time. This has occasioned confusion and strife. Harsh words have been spoken, and an unpleasant spirit has been brought into the office. The financial gain in no way compares with the loss which has come through rushing and driving and scolding and fretting."
May the Lord help His people to see that this is not wisdom and that far more is lost than is gained. If less machinery and fewer workers had been brought together in one place while other portions of the vineyard were destitute of facilities; if more money had been spent in making plants in various places, God would have been better pleased. It is not sanctified ambition that has led to the investment of so much money in one place. It is a mistake for our brethren to run so many presses for the printing of merely secular matter. We are fast approaching the end. The printing and circulation of the books and papers that contain the truth for this time are to be our work.
There is a marked neglect of the cautions and warnings that have been given from time to time. When there is a seeking of the Lord and a confession of sin, when the needed reformation takes place, united zeal and earnestness will be shown in restoring what has been withheld. The Lord will manifest His pardoning love, and means will come to cancel the debts on our institutions.
A Solemn Warning
[* READ TO THE REVIEW AND HERALD BOARD IN NOVEMBER, 1901.] To the Managers of the Review and Herald --
Dear Brethren: God's design in the establishment of the publishing house at Battle Creek was that from it light should shine forth as a lamp that burneth. This has been kept before the managers. Again and again they have been told of the sacredness of God's office of publication and of the importance of maintaining its purity. But they have lost true understanding and have united with the force of the enemy by consenting to print papers and books containing the most dangerous errors that can be brought into existence. They have failed to see the evil influences of such erroneous sentiments on typesetters, proofreaders, and all others engaged in the printing of such matter. They have been spiritually asleep.
By some of the outside work brought into this institution the science of Satan has been presented to the minds of the workers. The printing of such matter is a dishonor to God. It has done its part in deteriorating the minds of the workers. The managers have agreed to print it at a low figure. The gain would have been loss if the very highest figure had been asked for the work.
I have received a letter from Elder Daniells regarding the addition of another building to the Review and Herald office. The answer I make to this is: No, no, no. Instead of making any additions to the buildings already erected, cleanse the office of the trash of satanic origin, and you will gain room in every way.
God is not pleased with the congested state of things in Battle Creek. If the workers were divided and plants made in other places, God would be better pleased, and the standard of truth would be planted in regions which have never heard the message. Before you add another building to the office in Battle Creek, make thorough restitution to the Southern field. This has not yet been done as it should be done. Every step has been forced.
The five thousand dollars which would be used in adding to the Review and Herald buildings should now be invested in the work in other places where the gospel of truth has not yet been preached.
I feel a terror of soul as I see to what a pass our publishing house has come. The presses in the Lord's institution have been printing the soul-destroying theories of Romanism and other mysteries of iniquity. The office must be purged of this objectionable matter. I have a testimony from the Lord for those who have placed such matter in the hands of the workers. God holds you accountable for presenting to young men and young women the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge. Can it be possible that you have not a knowledge of the warnings given to the Pacific Press on this subject? Can it be possible that with a knowledge of these warnings you are going over the same ground, only doing much worse? It has often been repeated to you that angels of God are passing through every room in the office. What impression has this made on your minds?
You have given matter containing Satan's sentiments into the hands of the workers, bringing his deceptive, polluting principles before their minds. The Lord looks upon this action on your part as helping Satan to prepare his snare to catch souls. God will not hold guiltless those who have done this thing. He has a controversy with the managers of the publishing house. I have been almost afraid to open the Review, fearing to see that God has cleansed the publishing house by fire.
The Lord has instructed me that those who cannot see the wickedness of co-operating with Satan by publishing his falsehoods might better seek some work in which they will not ruin our youth, body and soul. There is danger that the standard of truth and righteousness will be so lowered that God will bring His judgments upon the wrongdoers.
It is high time that we understood what spirit has for years been controlling matters at the Review and Herald office. I am horrified to think that the most subtle phase of spiritualism should be placed before the workers, and that in a way calculated to confuse and perplex the mind. Be assured that Satan will follow up the advantage thus given him.
The Review and Herald office has been defiled as the temple was defiled, only the result has been tenfold more disastrous. Overturning the tables of the money-changers, Christ drove the sheep and cattle from the precincts of the temple, saying: "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." Matthew 21:13. Worse even than the defilement of the temple has been the defilement of the publishing house by the printing of matter which should never have been placed in the hands of the workers in God's institution.
God's law has been transgressed, His cause betrayed, and His institution made a den of thieves. The work of printing and circulating stirring appeals for the truth, which should have been placed first, to which the time and the talent of the workers should have been devoted, has received little or no attention. The commercial work, some of it of a most objectionable character, has gradually assumed the supremacy. This work has absorbed the energies which should have been devoted to the publication of literature of the purest quality and the most elevating character. Time has been wasted, talent misapplied, and money misappropriated. The work which ought to have been done has been left undone. Satan's sentiments have been exalted. His theories have been printed by presses which should have been used to prepare the truth of God for circulation. Men have coveted promotion when their principles were under the ban of God's displeasure. Loss is infinitely better than dishonorable gain.
Oh, what will God do with the timeservers? Think you that Jesus will stand in the printing establishment, to work through human minds by His ministering angels, to make the truth coming from the press a power to warn the world that the end of all things is at hand, while Satan is allowed to pervert the minds of the workers right in the institution? The light I have is: Refuse to print another line of this pernicious matter. Those who have had to do with its introduction into the publishing house need to repent before God in contrition of soul, for His wrath is kindled against them. Let this class of work be forever excluded from our publishing houses. Give more time to the publication and circulation of the books containing present truth. See that your work in this line reaches perfection. Do all in your power to diffuse throughout the world the light of heaven.
The apprentices and the other workers must not be so rushed and hurried that they have no time to pray. The youth in our publishing houses should be educated as were the youth in the schools of the prophets. They should be prepared to take hold of the work in new places.
If the men who heard the message given at the time of the Conference--the most solemn message that could be given--had not been so unimpressionable, if in sincerity they had asked, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" the experience of the past year would have been very different from what it is. But they have not made the track clean behind them. They have not confessed their mistakes, and now they are going over the same ground in many things, following the same wrong course of action, because they have destroyed their spiritual eyesight.
The message of the third angel is to prepare a people to stand in these days of peril. It is to be proclaimed with a loud voice and is to accomplish a work which few realize.
John writes: "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Revelation 14:6-8. How is this done? By forcing men to accept a spurious sabbath. In the thirty-first chapter of Exodus we are plainly told which day is the Sabbath of the Lord. The keeping of the Sabbath is declared to be a sign of the loyalty of God's people.
God means just what He says. Man has interposed between God and the people, and the Lord has sent forth the third angel with the message: If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Verses 9, 10.
God's people are to keep His commandments, discarding all worldly policy. Having adopted right principles of action, they are to reverence these principles; for they are heaven-born. Obedience to God is of more value to you than gold or silver. Yoking up with Christ, learning His meekness and lowliness, cuts short many a conflict; for when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a standard against him.
I address those who in accepting positions of trust in the publishing house have taken upon themselves the responsibility of seeing that the workers receive the right education. Seek to realize the importance of your work. Those who show by their actions that they make no effort to distinguish between the sacred and the common may know that, unless they repent, God's judgments will fall upon them. These judgments may be delayed, but they will come. If, because your own minds are not clear and elevated, you give the wrong bias to other minds, God will call you to account. He will ask: "Why did you do the devil's work when you were supposed to be doing a good work for the Master?"
In the great day of final accounts the unfaithful servant will meet the result of his unfaithfulness.
I send you this because I am afraid for you. Your continually increasing force of workers might better be sent into the work in other places. In the night season I have been talking earnestly to you in your meetings, presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. But by some it was rejected. They had passed beyond conviction. They had sinned against great light and knowledge, stifling conscience until it could no longer penetrate the callous heart.
Some have so long sacrificed principle that they cannot see the difference between the sacred and the common. Those who refuse to give heed to the Lord's instruction will go steadily downward in the path of ruin. The day of test and trial is just before us. Let every man put on his true colors. Do you choose loyalty or rebellion? Show your colors to men and an angels. We are safe only when we are committed to the right. Then the world knows where we shall be found in the day of trial and trouble.
If the work begun at the General Conference had been carried forward to perfection, I should not be called upon to write these words. There was opportunity to confess or deny wrong, and in many cases the denial came to avoid the consequences of confession.
Unless there is a reformation, calamity will overtake the publishing house, and the world will know the reason. I have been shown that there has not been a turning to God with full purpose of heart. The Lord is dishonored in the institutions erected for His honor. The marked disregard of God's commandments in the publishing house has placed its impress on the workers. God asks: "Shall I not judge for these things?" I saw heavenly angels turning away with grieved countenances. God has been mocked by your hardness of heart, which is continually increasing. According to their responsibility will be the punishment of those who know the truth and yet disregard God's commands.
The Review and Herald Fire
St. Helena, California, January 5, 1903. To the Brethren in Battle Creek --
Today I received a letter from Elder Daniells regarding the destruction of the Review office by fire. I feel very sad as I consider the great loss to the cause. I know that this must be a very trying time for the brethren in charge of the work and for the employees of the office. I am afflicted with all who are afflicted. But I was not surprised by the sad news, for in the visions of the night I have seen an angel standing with a sword as of fire stretched over Battle Creek. Once, in the daytime, while my pen was in my hand, I lost consciousness, and it seemed as if this sword of flame were turning first in one direction and then in another. Disaster seemed to follow disaster because God was dishonored by the devising of men to exalt and glorify themselves.
This morning I was drawn out in earnest prayer that the Lord would lead all who are connected with the Review and Herald office to make diligent search, that they may see wherein they have disregarded the many messages God has given.
Sometime ago the brethren at the Review office asked my counsel about the erection of another building. I then said that if those who were in favor of adding another building to the Review and Herald office had the future mapped out before them, if they could see what would be in Battle Creek, they would have no question about putting up another building there. God said: "My word has been despised; and I will turn and overturn."
At the General Conference, held in Battle Creek in 1901, the Lord gave His people evidence that He was calling for reformation. Minds were convicted, and hearts were touched; but thorough work was not done. If stubborn hearts had then broken in penitence before God, there would have been seen one of the greatest manifestations of the power of God that has ever been seen. But God was not honored. The testimonies of His Spirit were not heeded. Men did not separate from the practices that were in decided opposition to the principles of truth and righteousness, which should ever be maintained in the Lord's work.
The messages to the church of Ephesus and to the church in Sardis have been often repeated to me by the One who gives me instruction for His people. "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and the labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Revelation 2:1-5.
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Revelation 3:1-3.
We are seeing the fulfillment of these warnings. Never have scriptures been more strictly fulfilled than these have been.
Men may erect the most carefully constructed, fireproof buildings, but one touch of God's hand, one spark from heaven, will sweep away every refuge.
It has been asked if I have any advice to give. I have already given the advice that God has given me, hoping to prevent the falling of the fiery sword that was hanging over Battle Creek. Now that which I dreaded has come--the news of the burning of the Review and Herald building. When this news came, I felt no surprise, and I had no words to speak. What I have had to say from time to time in warnings has had no effect except to harden those who heard, and now I can only say: I am so sorry, so very sorry, that it was necessary for this stroke to come. Light enough has been given. If it were acted upon, further light would not be needed.
To our people, ministers and lay members, I am instructed to say: "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord,"--or many ministers and people are walking in strange paths,--"and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6, 7.
Let every soul be on the alert. The adversary is on your track. Be vigilant, watching diligently lest some carefully concealed and masterly snare shall take you unawares. Let the careless and indifferent beware lest the day of the Lord come upon them as a thief in the night. Many will wander from the path of humility, and, casting aside the yoke of Christ, will walk in strange paths. Blinded and bewildered, they will leave the narrow path that leads to the city of God.
A man cannot be a happy Christian unless he is a watchful Christian. He who overcomes must watch; for, with worldly entanglements, error, and superstition, Satan strives to win Christ's followers from Him. It is not enough that we avoid glaring dangers and perilous, inconsistent moves. We are to keep close to the side of Christ, walking in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. We are in an enemy's country. He who was cast out of heaven has come down with great power. With every conceivable artifice and device he is seeking to take souls captive. Unless we are constantly on guard we shall fall an easy prey to his unnumbered deceptions.
The experience of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane contains a lesson for the Lord's people today. Taking with Him Peter and James and John, Christ went to Gethsemane to pray. He said to them: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, Abba Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt. And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Mark 14:34-38.
Read these words carefully. Many today are asleep, as were the disciples. They are not watching and praying lest they enter into temptation. Let us read and study those portions of God's word that have special reference to these last days, pointing out the dangers that will threaten God's people.
We need keen, sanctified perception. This perception is not to be used in criticizing and condemning one another, but discerning the signs of the times. We are to keep our hearts with all diligence, that we may not make shipwreck of faith. Many who were once firm believers in the truth have become care less in regard to their spiritual welfare and are yielding, without the slightest opposition, to Satan's well-laid plots. It is time for our people to take their families from the cities into more retired localities, else many of the youth, and many also of those older in years, will be ensnared and taken by the enemy.
We have all been made very sad by the news of the terrible loss that has come to the cause in the burning of the Review and Herald office. In one year two of our largest institutions have been destroyed by fire. The news of this recent calamity has caused us to mourn deeply, but it was permitted by the Lord to come upon us, and we should make no complaint, but learn from it the lesson that the Lord would teach us.
The destruction of the Review and Herald building should not be passed over as something in which there is no meaning. Everyone connected with the office should ask himself: "Wherein do I deserve this lesson? Wherein have I walked contrary to a 'Thus saith the Lord,' that He should send this lesson to me? Have I heeded the warnings and reproofs that He has sent, or have I followed my own way?"
Let the heart-searching God reprove the erring, and let each one bow before Him in humility and contrition, casting aside all self-righteousness and self-importance, confessing and forsaking every sin, and asking God, in the name of the Redeemer, for pardon. God declares, "Him that cometh to Me
I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37); and those who in sincerity present themselves before Him will be pardoned and justified, and will receive power to become the sons of God.
I pray that those who have resisted light and evidence, refusing to listen to God's warnings, will see in the destruction of the Review and Herald office an appeal to them to turn to God with full purpose of heart. Will they not realize that God is in earnest with them? He is not seeking to destroy life, but to save life. In the recent destruction the lives of the workers were graciously preserved, that all might have an opportunity to see that God was correcting them by a message coming not from a human source, but from above. God's people have departed from Him; they have not followed His instruction, and He has come near them in correction; but He has not brought extinction of life. Not one soul has been taken by death. All have been left alive to recognize the Power that no man can gainsay.
Let us praise the Lord that the lives of His children have been so precious in His sight. He might have cut off the workers in their heedlessness and self-sufficiency. But, no! He says: "They shall have another chance. I will let the fire speak to them and will see if they will counterwork the action of My providence. I will try them as by fire to see if they will learn the lesson that I desire to teach them."
When the Battle Creek Sanitarium was destroyed, Christ gave Himself to defend the lives of men and women. In this destruction God was appealing to His people to return to Him. And in the destruction of the Review and Herald office, and the saving of life, He makes a second appeal to them. He desires them to see that the miracle-working power of the Infinite has been exercised to save life, that every worker may have opportunity to repent and be converted. God says: "If they turn to Me, I will restore to them the joy of My salvation. But if they continue to walk in their own way, I will come still closer; and affliction shall come upon the families who claim to believe the truth, but who do not practice the truth, who do not make the Lord God of Israel their fear and their dread."
Let everyone examine himself to see whether he be in the faith. Let the people of God repent and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Let them ascertain wherein they have failed to walk in the way that God has marked out, wherein they have failed to purify their souls by taking heed to His counsels.
What Might Have Been
St. Helena, California, January 5, 1903. To the Battle Creek Church --
One day at noon I was writing of the work that might have been done at the last General Conference if the men in positions of trust had followed the will and way of God. Those who have had great light have not walked in the light. The meeting was closed, and the break was not made. Men did not humble themselves before the Lord as they should have done, and the Holy Spirit was not imparted.
I had written thus far when I lost consciousness, and I seemed to be witnessing a scene in Battle Creek.
We were assembled in the auditorium of the Tabernacle. Prayer was offered, a hymn was sung, and prayer was again offered. Most earnest supplication was made to God. The meeting was marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The work went deep, and some present were weeping aloud.
One arose from his bowed position and said that in the past he had not been in union with certain ones and had felt no love for them, but that now he saw himself as he was. With great solemnity he repeated the message to the Laodicean church: "'Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.' In my self-sufficiency this is just the way I felt," he said. "'And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.' I now see that this is my condition. My eyes are opened. My spirit has been hard and unjust. I thought myself righteous, but my heart is broken, and I see my need of the precious counsel of the One who has searched me through and through. Oh, how gracious and compassionate and loving are the words, 'I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.'" Revelation 3:17, 18.
The speaker turned to those who had been praying, and said: "We have something to do. We must confess our sins, and humble our hearts before God." He made heartbroken confessions and then stepped up to several of the brethren, one after another, and extended his hand, asking forgiveness. Those to whom he spoke sprang to their feet, making confession and asking forgiveness, and they fell upon one another's necks, weeping. The spirit of confession spread through the entire congregation. It was a Pentecostal season. God's praises were sung, and far into the night, until nearly morning, the work was carried on.
The following words were often repeated, with clear distinctness: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Verses 19, 20.
No one seemed to be too proud to make heartfelt confession, and those who led in this work were the ones who had influence, but had not before had courage to confess their sins.
There was rejoicing such as never before had been heard in the Tabernacle.
Then I aroused from my unconsciousness, and for a while could not think where I was. My pen was still in my hand. The words were spoken to me: "This might have been . All this the Lord was waiting to do for His people. All heaven was waiting to be gracious." I thought of where we might have been had thorough work been done at the last General Conference, and agony of disappointment came over me as I realized that what I had witnessed was not a reality.
God's way is always the right and the prudent way. He always brings honor to His name. Man's only security against rash, ambitious movements is to keep the heart in harmony with Christ Jesus. Man's wisdom is untrustworthy. Man is fickle, filled with self-esteem, pride, and selfishness. Let the workers doing God's service trust wholly in the Lord. Then the leaders will reveal that they are willing to be led, not by human wisdom, which is as useless to lean upon as is a broken reed, but by the wisdom of the Lord, who has said: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." James 1:5, 6.
All who profess to be children of God I would invite to consider the history of the Israelites, as recorded in the one hundred and fifth, the one hundred and sixth, and the one hundred and seventh psalms. By carefully studying these scriptures, we may be able to appreciate more fully the goodness, mercy, and love of our God.
A Hymn Of The Promised Land
"Oh give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon His name;
Make known among the peoples His doings.
Sing unto Him, sing praises unto Him;
Talk ye of all His marvelous works.
Glory ye in His holy name:
Let the heart of them rejoice that seek Jehovah.
Seek ye Jehovah and His strength;
Seek His face evermore.
"Remember His marvelous works that He hath done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O ye seed of Abraham His servant,
Ye children of Jacob, His chosen ones.
He is Jehovah our God:
His judgments are in all the earth.
He hath remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath unto Isaac,
And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a statute,
To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan,
The lot of your inheritance;
When they were but a few men in number,
Yea, very few, and sojourners in it.
And they went about from nation to nation,
From one kingdom to another people.
He suffered no man to do them wrong;
Yea, He reproved kings for their sakes,
Saying, Touch not Mine anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.
"And He called for a famine upon the land;
He brake the whole staff of bread.
He sent a man before them;
Joseph was sold for a servant:
His feet they hurt with fetters:
He was laid in chains of iron,
Until the time that His word came to pass,
The word of Jehovah tried him.
The king sent and loosed him;
Even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free.
He made him lord of his house,
And ruler of all his substance;
To bind his princes at his pleasure.
And teach his elders wisdom Israel also came into Egypt;
And Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
And He increased His people greatly,
And made them stronger than their adversaries.
"He turned their heart to hate His people,
To deal subtly with His servants.
He sent Moses His servant,
And Aaron whom He had chosen.
They set among them His signs,
And wonders in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness, and made it dark;
And they rebelled not against His words.
He turned their waters into blood,
And slew their fish.
Their land swarmed with frogs
In the chambers of their kings.
He spake, and there came swarms of flies,
And lice in all their borders.
He gave them hail for rain,
And flaming fire in their land.
He smote their vines also and their fig trees,
And brake the trees of their borders.
He spake, and the locust came,
And the grasshopper, and that without number,
And did eat up every herb in their land,
And did eat up the fruit of their ground.
He smote also all the first-born in their land,
The chief of all their strength.
"And He brought them forth with silver and gold;
And there was not one feeble person among His tribes.
Egypt was glad when they departed;
For the fear of them had fallen upon them.
"He spread a cloud for a covering,
And fire to give light in the night.
They asked, and He brought quails,
And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
He opened the rock, and waters gushed out;
They ran in the dry places like a river.
"For He remembered His holy word,
And Abraham His servant.
And He brought forth His people with joy,
And His chosen with singing.
And He gave them the lands of the nations;
And they took the labor of the peoples in possession:
That they might keep His statutes,
And observe His laws.
"Praise ye Jehovah."
Psalm 105, A. R. V.
A Hymn Of The Captivity
"Praise ye Jehovah.
"Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for He is good;
For His loving-kindness endureth forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of Jehovah,
Or show forth all His praise?
Blessed are they that keep justice,
And he that doeth righteousness at all times.
Remember me, O Jehovah, with the favor that Thou bearest unto Thy people;
Oh visit me with Thy salvation,
That I may see the prosperity of Thy chosen,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation,
That I may glory with Thine inheritance.
"We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.
Our fathers understood not Thy wonders in Egypt;
They remembered not the multitude of Thy loving-kindnesses.
But were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea.
"Nevertheless He saved them for His name's sake,
That He might make His mighty power to be known.
He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up:
So He led them through the depths, as through a wilderness.
And He saved them from the hand of him that hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
And the waters covered their adversaries;
There was not one of them left.
Then believed they His words;
They sang His praise.
"They soon forgat His works;
They waited not for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tempted God in the desert.
And He gave them their request,
But sent leanness into their soul.
They envied Moses also in the camp,
And Aaron the saint of Jehovah.
The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
And covered the company of Abiram.
And a fire was kindled in their company
The flame burned up the wicked.
They made a calf in Horeb,
And worshiped a molten image.
Thus they changed their glory
For the likeness of an ox that eateth grass.
"They forgot God their Saviour,
Who had done great things in Egypt,
Wondrous works in the land of Ham,
And terrible things by the Red Sea.
Therefore He said that He would destroy them,
Had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breach,
To turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them.
"Yea, they despised the pleasant land,
They believed not His word,
But murmured in their tents,
And hearkened not unto the voice of Jehovah.
Therefore He sware unto them,
That He would overthrow them in the wilderness,
And that He would overthrow their seed among the nations,
And scatter them in the lands.
They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor,
And ate the sacrifices of the dead.
Thus they provoked Him to anger with their doings;
And the plague brake in upon them.
"Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment;
And so the plague was stayed.
And that was reckoned unto him for righteousness,
Unto all generations for evermore.
"They angered Him also at the waters of Meribah,
So that it went ill with Moses for their sakes;
Because they were rebellious against his spirit,
And he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples,
As Jehovah commanded them,
But mingled themselves with the nations,
And learned their works,
And served their idols,
Which became a snare unto them.
Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto demons,
And shed innocent blood,
Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
Thus were they defiled with their works,
And played the harlot in their doings.
"Therefore was the wrath of Jehovah kindled against His people,
And He abhorred His inheritance.
And He gave them into the hand of the nations;
And they that hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Many times did He deliver them;
But they were rebellious in their counsel,
And were brought low in their iniquity.
"Nevertheless He regarded their distress,
When He heard their cry:
And He remembered for them His covenant,
And repented according to the multitude of His loving-kindnesses.
He made them also to be pitied
Of all those that carried them captive.
"Save us, O Jehovah our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks unto Thy holy name,
And to triumph in Thy praise.
"Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say,
Amen. "Praise ye Jehovah."
Psalm 106, A. R. V.
Song Of The Redeemed
"Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for He is good;
For His loving-kindness endureth forever.
Let the redeemed of Jehovah say so,
Whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.
"They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way;
They found no city of habitation.
Hungry and thirsty,
Their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses,
He led them also by a straight way,
That they might go to a city of habitation.
Oh that men would praise Jehovah for His loving-kind
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfieth the longing soul,
And the hungry soul He filleth with good.
"Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Being bound in affliction and iron,
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And contemned the counsel of the Most High:
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And brake their bonds in sunder.
Oh that men would praise Jehovah for His loving-kindness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He hath broken the gates of brass,
And cut the bars of iron in sunder. . . .
"He turneth rivers into a wilderness,
And water springs into a thirsty ground;
A fruitful land into a salt desert,
For the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
He turneth a wilderness into a pool of water,
And a dry land into water springs.
And there He maketh the hungry to dwell,
That they may prepare a city of habitation,
And sow fields, and plant vineyards,
And get them fruits of increase.
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly;
And He suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
"Again, they are diminished and bowed down
Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow.
He poureth contempt upon princes,
And causeth them to wander in the waste, where there is no way.
Yet setteth He the needy on high from affliction,
And maketh him families like a flock.
The upright shall see it, and be glad;
And all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
"Whoso is wise will give heed to these things;
And they will consider the loving-kindnesses of Jehovah."
Psalm 107, A. R. V.
"Call to Remembrance the Former Days"
Why did ancient Israel so easily forget God's dealings? The people did not retain in their memory His works of greatness and power or His words of warning. Had they remembered His wondrous dealings with them they would not have received the reproof:
"Who art thou, that thou art afraid of man that shall die,
And of the son of man that shall be made as grass;
And hast forgotten Jehovah thy Maker,
That stretched forth the heavens,
And laid the foundations of the earth;
And fearest continually all the day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he maketh ready to destroy?
And where is the fury of the oppressor?"
Isaiah 51:12, 13, A. R. V.
But the children of Israel forgot God, whose they were by creation and by redemption. After seeing all His wondrous works, they tempted Him.
To the Israelites were committed the sacred oracles. But God's revealed word was misinterpreted and misapplied. The people despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
"The vineyard of Jehovah of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah His pleasant plant:
And He looked for justice, but, behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but, behold, a cry."
"Woe unto them That . . . regard not the work of Jehovah,
Neither have they considered the operation of His hands.
Therefore My people are gone into captivity
For lack of knowledge."
"Woe unto them That call evil good,
And good evil;
That put darkness for light,
And light for darkness;
That put bitter for sweet,
And sweet for bitter!
"Woe unto them That are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!"
"Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble,
And as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame,
So their root shall be as rottenness,
And their blossom shall go up as dust;
Because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."
Isaiah 5:7, 11-13, 20, 21, 24, A. R. V.
"Written for our Admonition"
"These things . . . are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11. The warning comes sounding down along the line to our time:
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; while it is said,
Cannot we who are living in the time of the end realize the importance of the apostle's words: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God"? Verse 12.
Upon us is shining the accumulated light of past ages. The record of Israel's forgetfulness has been preserved for our enlightenment. In this age God has set His hand to gather unto Himself a people from every nation, kindred, and tongue. In the advent movement He has wrought for His heritage, even as He wrought for the Israelites in leading them from Egypt. In the great disappointment of 1844 the faith of His people was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Had the Adventists in the early days still trusted to the guiding Hand that had been with them in their past experience, they would have seen of the salvation of God. If all who had labored unitedly in the work of 1844 had received the third angel's message and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts. A flood of light would have been shed upon the world. Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work would have been completed, and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people.
The Message for this Time
I have been instructed to trace words of warning for our brethren and sisters who are in danger of losing sight of the special work for this time. The Lord has made us depositaries of sacred truth. We are to arise and shine. In every land we are to herald the second coming of Christ, in the language of the revelator proclaiming: "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him." Revelation 1:7.
What are we doing? Are we giving the message of the third angel? The third angel followed them [the first and second angels], saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:9-12.
The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus are united. They are to be clearly presented to the world.
The Opposition of the Enemy
In God's word we are shown the consequences of proclaiming the third angel's message. "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17. A refusal to obey the commandments of God, and a determination to cherish hatred against those who proclaim these commandments, leads to the most determined war on the part of the dragon, whose whole energies are brought to bear against the commandment-keeping people of God. "He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16, 17.
The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation. "The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you." Exodus 31:12, 13. Here the Sabbath is clearly designated as a sign between God and His people.
The mark of the beast is the opposite of this--the observance of the first day of the week. This mark distinguishes those who acknowledge the supremacy of the papal authority from those who acknowledge the authority of God.
The Loud Cry
As foretold in the eighteenth of Revelation, the third angel's message is to be proclaimed with great power by those who give the final warning against the beast and his image: "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double." Revelation 18:1-6.
This is the message given by God to be sounded forth in the loud cry of the third angel. Those whose faith and zeal are proportionate to their knowledge of the truth will reveal their loyalty to God by communicating the truth, in all its saving, sanctifying power, to those with whom they associate. Their lives of holiness and unselfish service will be in conformity with the vital principles of the kingdom of heaven.
"And Hast Forgotten"
It is a solemn and terrible truth that many who have been zealous in proclaiming the third angel's message are now becoming listless and indifferent! The line of demarcation between worldlings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. Many who once were earnest Adventists are conforming to the world--to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God's law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world. How many professing Christians are slaves of mammon! Their indulgence of appetite, their extravagant expenditure of money for selfish gratification, greatly dishonors God.
And through lack of zeal for the promulgation of the third angel's message, many others, while not apparently living in transgression, are nevertheless as verily lending their influence on the side of Satan as are those who openly sin against God. Multitudes are perishing; but how few are burdened for these souls! There is a stupor, a paralysis, upon many of the people of God, which prevents them from understanding the duty of the hour.
When the Israelites entered Canaan, they did not fulfill God's purpose by taking possession of the whole land. After making a partial conquest, they settled down to enjoy the fruit of their victories. In their unbelief and love of ease they congregated in the portions already conquered, instead of pushing forward to occupy new territory. Thus they began to depart from God. By their failure to carry out His purpose they made it impossible for Him to fulfill to them His promise of blessing.
Is not the church of today doing the same thing? With the whole world before them in need of the gospel, professed Christians congregate where they themselves can enjoy gospel privileges. They do not feel the necessity of occupying new territory, carrying the message of salvation into regions beyond. They refuse to fulfill Christ's commission: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Are they less guilty than was the Jewish church?
"Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve"
There will be a sharp conflict between those who are loyal to God and those who cast scorn upon His law. Reverence for God's law has been subverted. The religious leaders are teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. As it was in the days of ancient Israel, so it is in this age of the world. But because of the prevalence of disloyalty and transgression, will those who have reverenced the law of God now cherish less respect for it? Will they unite with the powers of earth to make it void? The loyal will not be carried away by the current of evil. They will not throw contempt on that which God has set apart as holy. They will not follow Israel's example of forgetfulness; they will call to remembrance God's dealings with His people in all ages, and will walk in the way of His commandments.
The test comes to everyone. There are only two sides. On which side are you?
The Shield of Omnipotence
God's commandment-keeping people stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence.
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of Jehovah,
He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in whom I trust.
For He will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover thee with His pinions,
And under His wings shalt thou take refuge:
His truth is a shield and a buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night,
Nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
For the pestilence that walketh in darkness,
Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side,
And ten thousand at thy right hand;
But it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold,
And see the reward of the wicked.
"For Thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge!
Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee,
Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.
For He will give His angels charge over thee,
To keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands,
Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
The young lion and the serpent shalt thou trample underfoot.
Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble:
I will deliver him, and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him,
And show him My salvation."
Psalm 91, A. R. V.
"Oh come, let us sing unto Jehovah;
Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.
"For Jehovah is a great God,
And a great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, and He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
"Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker:
"For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
Today, Oh that ye would hear His voice!
Harden not your heart, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness;
When your fathers tempted Me,
Proved Me, and saw My work.
"Forty years long was I grieved with that generation,
And said, It is a people that do err in their heart,
And they have not known My ways:
Wherefore I sware in My wrath, that they should not enter into My rest.
"Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth.
Sing unto Jehovah, bless His name;
Show forth His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples.
"For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols;
But Jehovah made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him:
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
"Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples,
Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength.
Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto His name:
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh worship Jehovah in holy array:
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
"Say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth:
The world also is established that it cannot be moved:
He will judge the peoples with equity.
"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof;
Let the field exult, and all that is therein;
Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy
"Before Jehovah; for He cometh,
For He cometh to judge the earth:
He will judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth."
Psalm 95; 96, A. R. V.